Winner calls hunt for medallion 'family tradition'


ST. PAUL, Minn. – Despite freezing temperatures, the biggest prize of the St. Paul Winter Carnival was found on Monday morning.

It only took nine clues to lead Benjamin Haselman, of St. Paul, to the golden puck. He found it at about 7 a.m. at Como Park.

The location had been well-dug by other hunters over the past few days, but everyone else came up empty-handed.

Haselman found the puck sewn into a pair of blue jeans buried under 8 inches of snow and ice.

"I came across a little piece of denim," he said. "I was thinking of that first clue, 'The Winter Carnival treasure was part of our jeans,' so it kind of made sense."

Haselman said the hunt is a family tradition, one he has taken part in for years. He even thought he had found it once before.

But on Monday he knew he found the medallion.

"I popped it out (of the denim). It's all kind of a blur from there. (I was) jumping up and down and screaming," he said.

"I was out there digging and it almost hits me like 'wow' was I not expecting to find it out there? It surprised me," he said.

Haselman said that his dad had warned him that if he ever found the medallion, not to tell anybody.

"'You've got to put it in your pocket,'" his dad told him. "'Don't tell a soul and get out of the park.' I'm thinking 7 a.m., 20 below zero, I don't know how many people are going to be trying to mug me."

Haselman said he plans to compete again next year.

As for the $10,000 cash prize, he thinks it might go toward a new car.


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